The Opportunities & Benefits of a Religion Major

Like other majors in the humanities, the Religion Major provides a context for liberal education. The persons, practices, institutions, intellectual traditions, texts, artifacts, communities, and attitudes that characterize religion are found in all cultures and historical eras. The study of these forms of life brings to bear a variety of approaches and can broaden and deepen one's understanding of the diverse richness and mystery that attends to being human, and being specifically human in religious ways. It also affords an opportunity to examine the role of religious traditions in shaping political and social institutions of diverse cultures and to explore religious issues involved in warfare and other political conflicts. The study of religion helps us to comprehend with greater sophistication and insight the faiths, world views, practices, and ways of life that have, both historically and in the contemporary world, shaped the actions and allegiances of human beings. Long-standing debates over prayer, abortion, medical ethics, cultural diversity, and gender arrangements, and the character of private and public life in our own society carry with them rich and complex religious nuances.

We believe that the Religion Major is intellectually exciting and that it offers access to multiple modes of knowing and investigating and to the deep levels of human diversity. Because a great deal of writing is required in courses within the major, students can develop considerable skills in self-expression--skills which prove essential to professional leadership in a variety of careers. Many religion classes also stress proficiency in oral discussion as well as cooperative learning and group projects. The broad and deep preparation that Religion Majors develop intersects effectively with preparation in such vocations as medicine, law, business, and public affairs.